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Friday, April 26, 2013
MRC Cranks Up Factually Dubious Obsession With Soros Money
Topic: Media Research Center

Presumably in an effort to justify its campaign to raise money by fearmongering about George Soros, the Media Research Center has been busy in recent days cranking out articles about the evil things Soros is funding:

Over $1 Million from Soros to Group that Broke McConnell Tape Story

Very Green Day: $20 Million in Soros Funding for Earth Day

Soros Spends Nearly $7 Million to Push Gun Control

The Earth Day article by Mike Ciandella is particularly absurd -- counted in that $20 million (which, by the way, is since 2000, not last year as the article starts off suggesting) is $4.4 million given to the NAACP.

But Ciandella offers no evidence that any of the Soros money went toward Earth Day activities. Indeed, at least $1 million of that went to the NAACP's Legal Defense & Educational Fund. Soros gave another $950,000 to that fund in 2011.

As we've previously pointed out, right-wing billionaires spend at least that much money per year propping up failing newspapers that  the MRC has accused of spending since 2000 on media properties or Earth Day.

Ciandella is engaging in a lazy smear -- sadly, the kind of "research" the MRC has become known form.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:26 PM EDT
WND's Erik Rush Calls Immigrants 'Human Garbage' From 'Third World Toilets'
Topic: WorldNetDaily

The fact is that we have far more human garbage in this country than we ever ought to have tolerated, and this has nothing to do with ethnicity or religion; it has to do with what is in people’s hearts and minds. What we haven’t imported, the left has created. Liberals and radical Marxism in particular have inculcated a sense that we somehow deserve the antipathy of those around the world (and by extension, émigrés from Third World toilets) and so should endure it. The ongoing complaint of Muslims (radical and otherwise) is very much in this vein.

-- Erik Rush, April 24 WorldNetDaily column

We wonder: Will Rush retroactively declare this to be "sarcasm" too?


Posted by Terry K. at 1:44 PM EDT
MRC's Graham Pretends Frank Luntz Isn't Really A Republican
Topic: NewsBusters

When Republican pollster Frank Luntz was surretitiously recorded saying that right-wing radio hosts like Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin were "problematic" for the future of the GOP, you'd think it might stir a little soul-searching for the folks at the Media Research Center.

Fat chance. Tim Graham's response, in an April 25 NewsBusters post, is to pretend Luntz isn't really a Republican.

Graham's headline refers to "'GOP' Pollster Frank Luntz" -- yes, "GOP" is in scare quotes -- and he asserts that Luntz is "denounced as too conservative by liberals when he turns up on liberal networks." But that's utterly dishonest -- Graham's fellow NewsBusters have repeatedly touted Luntz's Republican ties.

Meanwhile, the MRC is too closely in bed with the right-wing radio figures Luntz criticized for Graham ever to bad-mouth them. Recall that MRC chief Brent Bozell launched an "I Stand With Rush" website last year rather than issue any meaningful criticism of Limbaugh's three-day misogynistic tirade against Sandra Fluke. And the MRC is currenly paying Levin to promote its anti-media campaign on his radio show.

Graham is too much of a company man to even consider biting the hand that feed him -- and he's too much of an ideologue to do anything other than fragging friendly critics simply for daring to criticize.


Posted by Terry K. at 11:27 AM EDT
WND's 'Shack' Attack Is Back
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Over the past few years, WorldNetDaily has been promoting a WND-published book that bashes another book, "The Shack," for allegedly having "deceived millions" about God -- author James B. De Young even smears "The Shack" author Paul Young as being aking to Jim Jones and the book's fans as having "cult-like" tendencies,. WND editor Joseph Farah's wrote of the book, "It embraces a universalist creed that suggests everyone is saved. It rejects the clear biblical condemnations of sinful behavior. It preaches the false 'I'm OK, you're OK' gospel and rejects the reality of eternal damnation."

In other words, it fails to comport with the right-wing fundamentalist Christianity of Farah and WND.

With reports that movie rights to "The Shack" have been optioned by Hollywood, it was time for WND to go "Shack"-bashing again. An April 24 WND article by Garth Kant that rehashes De Young's attacks on the book, asserting that "The Shack's" message of universal reconciliation is "a heresy that goes back all the way to the third century of the Church. It came to America in 1740 and was propagated among the churches of New England, where it found fertile ground and has been never totally eradicated.”

Since this is WND, neither Young nor anyone else is permitted to respond to De Young's attacks.

If the film version of "The Shack" does indeed get made, look for WND and De Young to continue to ride its coattails by bashing it.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
Updated: Friday, April 26, 2013 2:03 AM EDT
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Anti-Heathering: Newsmax's Ruddy Defends A Moderate Republican
Topic: Newsmax

Call it anti-Heathering.

While the Media Research Center attacks any conservative who dares to even slightly deviate from the right-wing party line,  Newsmax's Christopher Ruddy uses an April 24 column to defend the record of moderate Republican Sen. Susan Collins.

Ruddy rails against a "grossly unfair" attack ad against Collins for supporting a failed effort at expanded background checks on guns:

The fact is, Sen. Collins believes in the Second Amendment. She has earned a solid B-plus rating from the National Rifle Association.

She has also opposed some of the lunacy being pushed by the Democrats. For example, she voted to support legislation in 2007 prohibiting foreign and U.N. aid that restricts U.S. gun ownership. President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry recently indicated the U.S. would back such U.N. efforts.

On another key issue important to the NRA, Collins voted to support legislation in 2005 prohibiting lawsuits against gun manufacturers. In 1998, she also supported a law allowing the sale of guns without trigger locks.

Again, in 1999 she opposed a bill requiring background checks at gun shows.

Ruddy also defended Collins' Republican bona fides:

As for the allegation that she doesn’t “sound like” a Republican, it should be noted that Collins voted against Obamacare, voted in favor of the Bush-era tax cuts and their extension, supported the Iraq War Resolution authorizing President Bush to attack Iraq, and received a 0 percent rating from SANE (National Committee for a Sane Nuclear Policy), indicating a pro-military voting record.

On fiscal policy, she is a conservative, supporting the idea of a balanced budget constitutional amendment and enforcing existing spending caps in the future.

[...]

Last year, the GOP was within a hair’s breadth in gaining control of the U.S. Senate, but they blew it by putting forward candidates out of sync with mainstream voters.

Republicans could easily make the same mistake in 2014 if some elements within the party unfairly target highly qualified candidates like Susan Collins.

Will the MRC start Heathering Ruddy and Newsmax for being insufficiently conservative? We shall see.


Posted by Terry K. at 5:49 PM EDT
Erick Stakelbeck At WND: "Waters Are Being Tested" For Christian Persecution
Topic: WorldNetDaily

CBN's Erick Stakelbeck makes occasional videos for WorldNetDaily in which he opines on the issue of terrorism (despite his main professional experience being as a sports reporter). In his April 17 WND video, Stakelbeck spews all sorts of paranoid stuff, claiming that "the waters are being tested" for Christian persecution by the Obama administration, and that Christians will be "asked to make a choice" between their faith and riding "the progressive wave":

If you are a Christian who believes in the inherent truth of the Bible, and that Jesus, Yeshua, is the way the truth and the life, the savior of the world, you, my friend are a problem. ... This is the age of Obama, folks, and he and his friends are going to fundamentally transform America, just like he promised.
 
[...]
 
I’m sorry, I don’t believe this PowerPoint presentation [that named evangelicals as a threat] just slipped through the cracks. At this level, when you’re training Army Reserves, I would think it’s pretty hard to go rogue with no vetting of your materials. Don’t kid yourself, the waters are being tested.
 
[...]
 
So this is where we’re at in America. Things are moving very fast, almost too fast to keep up with, and in the wrong direction. If you are a Bible-believing Christian, you are going to eventually be asked to make a choice. Deny your faith, conform to the ways of this world and take the easy way out, just ride the progressive wave. Or you can stand boldly, you can speak truth to power, and you can leave all the consequences to God. Be strong and courageous like God told Joshua, or you can cave. There’s no gray areas when it comes to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and his son. If you think it can never happen in America, look at Europe.

This is what happens when you let sports reporters opine about terrorism.


Posted by Terry K. at 12:48 PM EDT
NewsBusters Gets Fisker Loan Wrong
Topic: NewsBusters

In an April 4 NewsBusters post, Ryan Robertson referenced "the $529 million loan guarantee" received by the troubled electric car maker Fisker, adding that "The saga all began in 2009 when the Obama administration handed out $1 billion worth of loans to two electric car manufacturers, Fisker and Tesla." Both claims are misleading to the point of being false.

As Media Matters points out, Fisker received only $193 million of that $529 million. An update to Robertson's post sort of acknowledges that, though it's not clearly explained.

Robertson's assertion that "saga all began in 2009" is false. In fact, according to Media Matters, the program under which Fisker received federal money was signed into existence by President Bush in 2007, and it was funded under legislation signed by Bush in 2008. Further, it was Bush officials, not Obama officials, who encouraged Fisker to apply for a loan under the program.

UPDATE: An April 25 NewsBusters post by Geoffrey Dickens stated of Fisker: "The Obama administration has flushed almost $200 million of the American taxpayer's money down the drain on another green company failure." He failed to mention the Bush administration's role in the Fisker loan.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:00 AM EDT
Updated: Thursday, April 25, 2013 5:34 PM EDT
WND's Massie Lies About Telling the Truth
Topic: WorldNetDaily

Mychal Massie devotes his April 22 WorldNetDaily column to bashing a newspaper editor who he claims edited the content of his columns as published in that paper. (To which we add: A newspaper was actually publishing Massie's column?)

We're not going to insert ourselves into that particular tiff, but Massie said some other things that demand a response. Like this:

You, the public, entrust us to deliver the news/information factually and truthfully, and that same standard applies to opinion-editorials. People may not agree with my opinions, but the facts contained in same have withstood the test of time. And I am just as critical of Republicans and so-called conservatives as I am of liberal Democrats, perhaps even more so.

Liberals, however, exercise censorship, threats and intimidation juxtaposed to providing truthful, factual, unbiased news. And their minions will go to any extreme to prevent opinions they disagree with from being available to the public for them to make up their own minds.

The aspect of Ivancic’s dishonest machinations (which are most appalling) is that he cheats his readership of factual information, and in his rush to do so he sets the table for racial tension.

Massie's claim that he provides "factual information" is a laugh. We've documented numerous lies that Massie has promoted in his columns.

Massie also writes:

If I were given to liberal philosophies, I could scream RACISM at the top of my voice and make a perfect case for it. I could very easily make this about my skin color and not about Ivancic being morally opprobrious.

[...]

But, as my readership knows, I refuse to stoop to use an easy argument that will drive the racial wedge further between us as Americans. We must rise above that.

In fact, Massie is not afraid to play the race card. This is, after all, the guy who once likened Harry Reid to Bull Connor and Orval Faubus. He's also knows that, as a black man, he can get away with saying things he would be criticized for if he was white, like spewing unhinged hatred of President Obama, calling Michelle Obama "Buttzilla" and Jehmu Greene a "Negress."

It's laughable for Massie to pretend he's above racial matters when he himself is not averse to using his race to his advantage (or at least hiding behind it to get away with things others can't).


Posted by Terry K. at 1:32 AM EDT
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
CNS Expands Its Word-Counting Fetish to Clinton
Topic: CNSNews.com

CNSNews.com has something of a fetish for bashing President Obama for specific words he says or doesn't say, i.e. paraphrasing the Declaration of Independence without mentioning "the Creator."

That obsession has expanded to other politicians CNS despises. Hence, an April 22 article by Penny Starr:

In accepting the “Advocate of Change” award at the GLAAD Media Awards on Sunday, former Democratic President Bill Clinton invoked the Declaration of Independence as confirming support for homosexuals as being “endowed with certain rights” but omitted the words “their Creator” as the source of those rights.

The Declaration of Independence says, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” 

Yes, Starr really thinks this is worthy of a "news" article, which demonstrates that she (and the rest of CNS) puts right-wing ideology before journalistic intent.


Posted by Terry K. at 2:58 PM EDT
WND Columnist Condones Domestic Terrorism Against Government Officials
Topic: WorldNetDaily

In her April 19 WorldNetDaily column, Patrice Lewis warned that there is a "trend over the last five years or so in which the government tries to criminalize anyone who disagrees with it." As evidence, she repeated baseless fearmongering over government and military studies of far-right extremists.

Then, Lewis essentially justifies domestic terrorism against government officials because there are legitimate reasons "people believe the federal government is corrupt and tyrannical." She then rattles off a paranoid laundry list of alleged offenses, some of which have nothing to do with government:

  • Our children are being brainwashed with a federally driven progressive public school agenda of revisionist history, socialist propaganda, gender neutrality, anti-religious views, anti-family literature, the evils of the Second Amendment and the convenience of abortion.
  • One of the premier magazines in the nation publishes an article indicating that deeply held religious beliefs are a sign of mental illness.
  • Mental-health issues are being nationalized, setting the stage for Soviet-era-style psychological warfare on American citizens.

Lewis then writes, "As the saying goes, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean you’re wrong."

Lewis concludes: 

Now I ask you: who is working to bring down America, to rot the soul of our nation, to bring treason from within? Who is working to fracture our families, undermine our national security and crash our economy? Who is working to penalize small businesses, prosecute producers and reclassify innocent people as domestic terrorists at the stroke of a pen?

In short, who are the REAL domestic terrorists in America?

Well, given that she's essentially condoning, if not outright approving, the use of violence against elected officials, it appears Lewis is one of those domestic terrorists.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:26 PM EDT
Updated: Wednesday, April 24, 2013 1:28 PM EDT
Newsmax Touts (Bulk-Purchase-Fueled) Sales of (Newsmax-Published) Obamacare Book
Topic: Newsmax

Jim Meyers breathlessly writes in an April 12 Newsmax article:

The “ObamaCare Survival Guide” has reached a new sales milestone — it’s hit the coveted No. 1 spot on The New York Times best-seller list.

The Guide reached the Times’ best-seller list for paperback/advice in early February and remains there today.

The new first-place ranking will appear in the April 21 issue of The New York Times Book Review.

But if you look at the sales chart, you'll notice that there's a dagger symbol at the end of the “ObamaCare Survival Guide” entry. The end of the chart states: "A dagger (†) indicates that some retailers report receiving bulk orders." Bulk sales are a traditional method of boosting sales figures for conservative authors.

And many of those bulk sales appear to be coming from Newsmax itself. The book is Newsmax's latest loss leader, selling it for $4.95 with its usual bonus trial subscriptions to Newsmax magazine and other newsletters that one must opt out of in order to avoid being charged for a full year's subscription.

Meyers also fails to mention the key reason Newsmax is pushing this book so hard: Newsmax published it through its subsidiary Humanix Books.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:50 AM EDT
WND's Unruh Serves As Michele Bachmann's Press Agent
Topic: WorldNetDaily

WorldNetDaily named Michele Bachmann its "Woman of the Year" last year, and apparently one of the perks of that designation is that WND will deflect and whitewash her ethhical peccadilloes.

Bob Unruh does exactly that in an April 22 WND article, uncritically regurgitating claims by a former Bachmann official that a dispute over how a staffer for her presidential campaign in Iowa was paid has absolutely nothing to do with her:

News media are turning an ethics dispute between the Iowa Senate and one of its members into a story that is “wrong, reckless, and outrageous,” according to a statement released by counsel for U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn.

[...]

The dispute arose over a claim that an Iowa state senator was paid to work on Bachmann’s 2012 presidential election campaign. The charges, and refutations, both come from different members of the team that supported Bachmann in the race.

“The way the media is portraying this story is wrong, reckless, and outrageous. The affidavit by a former employee in fact confirms that Congresswoman Bachmann followed all applicable laws and ethical rules and instructed those working for her to do the same,” the statement.

“The alleged arrangement at issue was both lawful and properly reported under federal law. This dispute is between the Iowa Senate and an Iowa senator: it has nothing whatsoever to do with Congresswoman Bachmann or her political committees,” the statement continued.

“For anyone to suggest otherwise is both dishonest and reprehensible.”

Well, Unruh is certainly not going to suggest otherwise -- heck, he waits until the third-to-last paragraph of his article before he even gets around to naming the person making the allegation.


Posted by Terry K. at 1:47 AM EDT
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
NewsBusters Repeats Bogus Claim About Carjacked Mercedes With 'Coexist' Sticker
Topic: NewsBusters

Jack Coleman writes in the midst of a Rachel Maddow-bashing rant in an April 22 NewsBusters post:

In fairness to MSNBC viewers, I doubt that most of them and a majority of the network's former primetime hosts are at risk of becoming jihadist bombers. I am equal confident, however, that many MSNBC viewers have adorned a bumper on their vehicle with a "Co-exist" bumper sticker -- like the one placed on the Mercedes allegedly carjacked by the Tsarnaev brothers.

Maybe the brothers saw the sticker, maybe they didn't, but I hope this detail gets pinned down at Tsarnaev's trial, regardless of where it's held. The owner of the vehicle was sending a message with that sticker, along the lines of -- let's all get along, shall we? That's not how the sticker would be interpreted by predators like the Tsarnaevs. Their reading of it would be this -- unarmed driver who won't put up a fight.

Just one little problem: It's not true. The carjacked Mercedes did not have a "Coexist" bumper sticker on it.

Sorry to interrupt your Maddow-bashing with the facts, Jack.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:22 PM EDT
WND's Top Sources On Boston Bombing and Islam: Reza Kahlili and Walid Shoebat
Topic: WorldNetDaily

It says a lot about WorldNetDaily -- none of it good -- that its chief sources on the Boston bombings and their alleged Islamic links are Reza Kahlili and Walid Shoebat.

Kahlili -- the writer hiding behind a pseudonym who uses anonymous sources almost exclusively -- claims in an April 22 WND article that "Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Forces, ordered reconnaissance and intelligence gathering on various events and public gatherings in the United States years ago, culminating in the bombings at the Boston Marathon one week ago." His alleged source for this is "a source within Iran’s intelligence services," and Kahlili offers no on-the-record substantiation.

As we've pointed out, when you're hiding behind a fake name and use only anonymous sources like Kahlili does, you can pretty much write anything safe in the knowledge that it's unverifiable by anyone else.

Meanwhile, another April 22 WND article by Drew Zahn uncritically promotes a claim from  Shoebat -- who has been credibly accused of lying about his own past as a self-proclaimed Islamic terrorist-turned-Christian --  that "a bizarre video released out of Egypt demonstrates the 'demonic' spirit that has gripped the nation since its 2011 Islamic revolution." Zahn makes no effort to verify the video or seek another interpretation.

These are the people that WND is relying on. Scary, isn't it?


Posted by Terry K. at 2:23 PM EDT
MRC: Depicting Gays in Comics Is 'Propaganda'
Topic: Media Research Center

Kristine Marsh and Matt Philbin rant in an April 15 MRC Culture & Media Institute item:

Poor Sgt. Rock. Were he around today, the grizzled infantryman who’s WWII combat exploits thrilled a generation of boys might find himself sitting through sexual orientation sensitivity training in the post-Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell Army. And he’d be hard pressed to recognize his old DC Comics area of operations.

In an upcoming release, DC’s openly lesbian Batwoman character will be shown kissing her lover while proposing marriage. And now, Batgirl has a transgendered roommate. These are not your father’s comic books.

Like the rest of American pop culture, comic books have increasingly included pro-gay propaganda pieces aimed at the children and young adults who read them. Not to be outdone by DC’s super-heroic sexual diversity, Marvel released a comic a few weeks ago where “Wolverine and Hercules share a gay kiss,” as reported by The Huffington Post.  

Yes, Marsh and Philbin really seem to believe that depicting gays in comics behaving like other comic characters behave is "propaganda."

Marsh and Philbin also rush to the defense of right-wing sci-fi writer Orson Scott Card from "gay activists" who "have been hounding him as a 'homophobe' and 'bigot,' simply for affirming the traditional understanding of marriage."

They go on to lament: "Unsurprisingly, there’s no public uproar or call for writers to be fired for pushing their gay agenda, because what press this gaying of comics has gotten has been favorable." But they don't explain why gays must be treated as nothing less than evil, which is apparently their goal.


Posted by Terry K. at 10:56 AM EDT

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